JetBlue to charge $30 for first checked bag, will other others follow?

Dawn Gilbertston
A Jet Blue aircraft takes off from Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, CA.
Tim Rue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JetBlue Airways is raising baggage fees, becoming the first major airline to charge $30 for the first checked bag.

Beginning with tickets purchased Monday, Aug. 27, the airline will charge $30 for the first bag and $40 for the second. The current charges are $25 and $35, which is standard at other major carriers. A third bag will be $150, up from $100.

The new fees are listed on the airline's online baggage fees chart.

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The move comes amid a spike in airline fuel prices. Airlines are scrambling to cut expenses and boost revenue. The airline's executives talked about boosting so-called "ancillary revenue'' on the airline's earnings conference call in July, noting that it had a series of initiatives underway.

JetBlue was a latecomer to checked bag fees, which became the norm in the airline industry in 2008. The airline didn't introduce them until 2015.

That move left Southwest as the only carrier offering two free checked bags.

JetBlue isn't alone in trying to boost revenue in the face of higher fuel costs. Southwest Airlines is increasing the price of its EarlyBird boarding fee from a flat $15 to $15, $20 or $25 depending on the route.

United Airlines plans to start charging for certain economy seat assignments, a practice already in place at Delta and American.  Discounters Allegiant, Spirit and Frontier charge for any advance seat assignment.